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The Good Old Days of Usenet

Today when many of us think of the Usenet, we think of massive data servers storing loads and loads of information, literally terabytes at a time of digital media and online discussions from a plethora of communities dating back years at a time. Today people share just about anything and everything that can be captured and or created in digital form on the Usenet newsgroups. The number of binary newsgroups vs. the text newsgroups has exploded as the Usenet has flourished into a live store of digital user creations from video, to music, to ebooks, to software and of course ongoing rich text based conversations and discoveries. The early days of the Usenet was quite another story altogether.

In the beginning, the Usenet was purely text based with tight knit groups and communities of people sharing their thoughts ideas and passions. The idea of storing or sharing digital creations on the Usenet seemed like a far off dream. In fact the Usenet existed for 15+ years without the binary newsgroups. Also in the early days retention was next to nothing, for example, in 1999 the best Usenet providers only had 20 days retention – that is a stark contrast to the 4 years + retention we enjoy today. In the good old days the newsgroups were maintained by the elitest of the elite, today there are millions of users that contribute to the Usenet. Watch this video as our friend Chris Pirillo recants his experiences with the Usenet…

 

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